tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 27, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PDT
[ applause ] >> richard lui here in new york with msnbc. you're watching our continuing special coverage of pope francis' trip in america. as you see right now the pope just sitting down after he has walked down the center of the chapel, 300 bishops in philadelphia for the world meeting of families as they are now seated. >> we didn't know what to expect. the church in philadelphia was facing some very hard financial and legal problems. our priests and our people were hurting from years of very
painful news. and the national debate over same-sex issues, the nature of marriage, and the meaning of family became more intense. but we put our trust in the lord and we believed that he'd somehow make it work. the months since have had many surprises, but also a great deal of grace. over the past week i have been moved by the thousands of families and especially young people who are hungry for a closer walk with jesus christ. they reminded me again that god made us for happiness and meaning. we can't live without intimacy and purpose, so i have been struck during these days by the passion of so many people from so many different countries who want to live their marriages and lead their families as god
intended. this world gathering has changed a great many lives, including my own. it's been a source of new hope both for the city and for the church of philadelphia. my dear brother bishops, it could not have happened without your prayers and support. this past week has been a blessing for the church worldwide but especially here in north america. the philadelphia community will always be grateful to you, to the pontifical council for the family, and especially to you, holy father, pope francis, for giving us this great opportunity to experience god's grace. holy father, welcome once again. [ applause ]
mind, the people who had the responsibility to take care of these tender ones. v violated that trust and caused them great pain. god weeps. for the sexual abuse of children, these cannot be maintained in secret, and i commit to a careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected and that all responsible will be held accountable.
i would like to express my gratitude to the archbishop and i felt it very important that i share this message with you today. and i am very happy to be able to share these moments of pastoral reflection amid the joyful celebrations of this world meeting of families. for the church, the family is not first and foremost a cause for concern but rather the
joyous confirmation of god's blessing upon the masterpiece of creation. every day all over the world the church can rejoice in the lord's gift of so many families who even amid difficult trials maintain faithful to their promises and keep the faith. i would say that this is a very difficult period of transition, and it requires that we move forward and recognize the
family. gratitude should be more important than any lamentation regardless of all of the obstacles that we must face. the family is the fundamental locus of the covenant between the church and god's creation. god blessed us with the family. without the family, not even the church would exist nor could she be what she is called to be, that is to say a sign, an instrument of communion with god. and the unity of the entire human race. needless to say, our understandings shape the interplay of ecclesial faith and
the conjugal experience of sekeseack kramental grace. but this must not lead us to ignore the changes taking place in contemporary society, and we are now seeing this take place in their social, cultural, and now, unfortunately, now inju geridical effects on family bonds. it affects us whether we are believers or not. christians are not immune to the changes of time. this con crecrete world with als many problems and possibilities is where we must live, believe, and proclaim. until recently we lived in a
social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the christian sacrament were considerable and shared. two were interrelated and mutually supportive. this is no longer the case. if i were to describe our situation today, i would use two familiar images. on the one hand, our neighborhood stores, those small businesses in our neighborhoods, and on the other hand our large supermarkets. there was a time when one neighborhood, one neighborhood
store had everything one needed for personal and family life. it's true that it cleverly displayed and it didn't offer much choice, but there was a personal bond between the shopkeeper and his customers. and business was done on the basis of trust. people knew one another, and they were all neighbors. they trusted one another. they built up trust, and in many places these stores were often simply known as the local market. then in recent decades a
different kind of store was created, the shopper centers. huge spaces with a great selection of opportunities in merchandise. the world seems to have become one of these great shopping centers or supermarkets. our culture has become more and more competitive. businesses no long er conduct business based on trust. others can no longer be trusted. there is no longer that close, personal relationship. today's culture seems to encourage people to not bond with anything or anyone. not to trust or let others trust
in them. the most important thing today seems to be to follow the latest trend or activity. even at a religious level. today consumerism determines what is important, consuming relationships, consuming friendships, consuming religions, consuming, consuming, whatever the cost or consequences. a consumption that does not create bonds. consumption which has little to do with human relationships. social bonds are a mere means for satisfaction of my needs.
the important thing is no longer our neighbor with his or her familiar face, story, and personality. the result is a culture which discards everything, everything that is no longer useful or satisfying. satisfying for the taste of the consumer. we have turned our society into a huge multicultural showcase tied only to the tastes of certain consumers while so many others, the others, have nothing
to eat but the crumbs which fall from their master's table. this causes great harm. it is a great cultural harm. i would dare say that at the root of so many contemporary situations is a kind of radical loneliness that so many people live in today. running after the latest fad, a like, accumulating followers on any of the social networks, and we human beings get caught up in
what contemporary society has to offer. loneliness with fear of commitme commitment. in a limitless effort to feel recognized. should we blame our young people for having grown up in this kind of society? should we condemn them for living in this kind of world? should they hear their pastors saying things like, it was all better back then, the world is falling apart, and if things go on this way, who knows where we will end up. that sounds a little bit like an
argentine tango. i don't think that this is the way. as shepherds following in the footsteps of the good shepherd, we are asked to seek out, to accompany, to lift up, to bind up the wounds of our time, to look at things realistically with the eyes of one who feels called to action, to pastoral conversion. the world today demands this conversion on our part. it is vital, vitally important for the church today to go forth and preach the gospel to all, to all places on all occasions without hesitation, reluctance, or fear. the joy of the gospel is for all
people. no one can be excluded. the gospel is not a product for consumption. it is not part of the culture of consumerism. we would be mistaken, however, to see this culture of the present world as mere indifference towards marriage and the family as pure and simple selfishness. are today's young people hopelessly timid? weak? or inconsistent? we must not fall into this trap. many young people in this
context of culture and discouragement have yielded to a form of unconscious acquiescence and fear. they are feeling that fear, that unconscious fear. they're paralyzed when they encounter the more noble and truly necessary challenge. there are many who put off marriage while waiting for ideal conditions, when everything can be perfect. meanwhile, life goes on, and they live it without living it to its fullest. because knowledge of life's true pleasures only comes as the fruit of a long-term generous
investment of our intelligence, enthusiasm, and passion. in the congress a few days ago, i said we are living in a culture that pushes and convinces our youth to not create families. some because they don't have the means at their disposal. they don't have the material means to do so and others because they have so much at their disposal that they're very comfortable as they are. that is the temptation to not create a family. as pastors we bishops are called to collect our energies and to
rebuild enthusiasm for making families and correspond ever more fully, ever more fully to the blessing of god which they are. we need to invest our energies, not so much in rehearsing the problems of the world around us over and over again and the merits of christianity but in extending a sincere invitation to the young people to be brave and to opt for marriage and the fami family. in buenos aires how many women telling me, my son is 30, 34
years old, and he's not getting married. i don't know what to do. and i say, don't iron his shirts anymore. we have to encourage our youth that they take that risk because they need to move toward fruitfulness in life. here, too, we need a bit of holy perasia from the bishops. why aren't you getting married? well, i have a girlfriend, but i don't know, we're not sure what to do. we're saving money for our marriage. there needs to be that holy encouragement to be with them and them move toward a commitment of marriage and to
have them develop. a christianity which does little in practice while incessantly explaining its teachings is dangerously unbalanced. i would even say that it is stuck in a vicious circle. a pastor must show that the gospel of the family is truly good news. in a world where self-concern seems to reign supreme. we are not talking about some romantic dream. the perseverance which is called for in having a family and raising it transforms the world
and history. families transform history and transform the world. a pastor serenely yet passionately proclaims the word of god. he encourages believers to aim high. he will enable his brothers and sisters to hear and experience god's promise, which can expand their experience of motherhood and fatherhood within the horizon of a new familiaraiity with god. a pastor watches over dreams, the lives, and the growth of his flock. this watchfulness is not the result of talking but of
shepherding. only one capable of standing in the midst, in the midst of the flock, someone who is not afraid of questions, contact, and accompaniment is one who can do the job. a pastor keeps watch first and foremost with prayer, supporting the faith of his people and in instilling confidence in the lord in his presence. a pastor is always vigilant by helping people to lift their gaze at times of discouragement, frustration, and failure. it would be important for us to ask whether in our pastoral
ministry we are ready to, quote, unquote, waste time with families. whether we are ready to be present with them, sharing their difficulties, and sharing their joys. natural naturally, experiencing the spirit of this joyful famili familiarity, this joyful familiarity with god and, secondly, spreading it and spreading its powerful evangelical fruitfulness has to be the primary feature of the
lifestyle of our bishops. a lifestyle of preaching the gosp gospel, but i have always been surprised when at the beginning of the church there is complaint because the orphans and the widows were not taken care of but the apostles couldn't do it all, and they would get together, and they invented the position of deacon. [ applause ] the holy spirit inspired them to
appoint deacons, and when peter announces this decision, he explains, we are going to choose seven men so that they can address this issue, and we have two things to do. prayer and preaching. what is the first job of a bishop? to pray, to pray. the second job that goes hand in hand is to preach. this definition, this dogmatic
definition, helps us. now, cardinal miller, if i'm not mistaken, this helps us. it helps us because it defines what the role of a bishop is. the bishop is constituted to be a pastor, to shepherd but first with prayer and then with predication and proclaiming the gospel. and if you have time you do the rest. and accept with humble christian apprenticeship in the familiaral v familial virtues of god's people. by doing this we will become more and more like fathers and mothers as did st. paul in the
first epistle to the thessalonians, and we will be less like people who have simply learned to live without a family. to distance ourselves from the family will create people who have learned to live without families. that is ugly, very ugly. our deal is not to live without love. a goodpast paspaste pastor puts
on the evangelical blessing of the love of men and women who carry forward god's plan of creation beginning with those who are lost, abandoned, wounded, broken, downtrodden, and deprived of their dignity. this total surrender to god's agape is certainly not a vocation lack flg ting in tende and affection. we need only to look to jesus to understand this. the mission of a good pastor in the style of god and only god can authorize this, not our own presumption, imitates in every way and for all people the son's love for the father. this is reflected in the tenderness with which a pastor devotes himself to the loving care of the men and women of our human family. t
in the eyes of faith, this is a most valuable sign our ministry needs to deepen the covenant between the church and the family and let me highlight this. we must develop the covenant between the church and the family, otherwise i becomes apparent that the human family will grow distant from god's joyful good news and they will go to the local supermarket that is most popular and they will go and purchase that product that they desire most at the moment. if we prove capable of the demanding task of reflecting god's love, cultivating infinite patience and serenity as we strive to sow its seeds in the frequently crooked furrows in which we are called to plant and
we do need to sow in these crooked furrows with great frequency. then even, for example, a samaritan woman with five nonhusbands will discover that she is capable of giving witness and for every rich young man who with sadness feels that he has to calmly keep considering the matter, there will be an old republican who will come down from the tree and give fourfold to the poor to whom before that moment he had never even given a thought. brothers, may god grant us this gift of a renewed closeness
between the family and the church, the family needs it, the church needs it. we, the shepherds, need it. the family is our ally, our window to the world. the family is the evidence of an irrevocable blessing of god destined for all the children who in every age are born into this difficult yet beautiful creation which god has asked us to serve. thank you very much. [ applause ]
[ applause ] >> pope francis there finishing 20 minutes of remarks. this as a standing ovation from the 300 bishops that have gathered for first time in the united states for the meeting that was first started by pope john paul ii in 1994. now, as we continue our coverage, let's listen to pope francis as he makes more remarks. >> translator: the cuban bishops
a few days ago gave me an image of the virgin of charity, and i was supposed to give it to a community -- a cuban community in the united states on those bishops' behalf. now, i am not going to get in this difficult situation. you will decide which cuban community needs this the most, so monseigneur, you are going to have to get into that internal discussion. [ applause ]
[ applause ] >> pope francis, if you're just joining us, not on script again, not surprising for this pastor. on this sunday, september 27th, 2015, giving a gift, a gift that he brought with him from cuba and as he said there in a humorous tone which he did so many times this morning throughout his speech and prepared remarks, some of which were and some of which were not, saying, therefore, to the bishops in front of him, you now
will take this and decide which cuban community or all of them receiving it and how they will decide to bring that gift and show that gift from pope francis to the cuban community of the united states. what we just saw, if you're just joining us, a little bit earlier was an announcement at the top of this message at around 9:15 a.m. local time there in philadelphia at st. martin's chapel. pope francis had released the remarks that he was to give, but at the top, he moved outside of his prepared remarks to address the sex abuse scandal that has plagued the church in the united states and throughout the world, and for more on that as we learn the information, where it came from, and what happened this morning, let's go to nbc news correspondent ann thompson in philadelphia as pope francis greets some of the bishops there as he moves onto his next item
on the agenda. anne thompson, this was not what was released earlier on. >> it was not in his prepared remarks, but we would been expecting somewhere along this trip that like pope dbenedict dd when he visited this country, pope francis would meet with sex abuse victims and he would do so privately. he did that over in rome earlier this year over in the vatican earlier this year. he announced this morning before he began his prepared remarks to the bishops that he had, indeed, met with a group of survivors. we do not know how many, but what he told the bishops and he did so in spanish, he said i carry in my heart the stories, suffering, and pain of minors who have been sexually abused by priests and then he promised, i commit to the zealous oversight of the church to protect minors
and i promise everyone responsible will be held accountable. that is a very important message for the survivor community because they want not only the priests who committed the abuse held responsible, but they also want any bishops or cardinals or anyone in the church hierarchy who knowingly moved abusive priests from parish to parish instead of getting them out of the priesthood and away from children, they want them held accountable, too. it is very important to survivors if that's the only way that -- >> nbc's anne thompson reporting again on the remarks being made by the pope just about 20 minutes ago, how he had met with victims and survivors of abuse, sexual abuse this morning. it looks like our connection did fall away. if we are able to get anne back, we will get back to her again on the remarks that were just made
again about sexual abuse and sexual abuse survivors there in st. martin's chapel again made about 20 minutes ago. i do want to bring in bishop robert behren, auxiliary bishop for the los angeles diocese who has been listening this morning and the remarks made by pope francis. did that surprise you at all that this was the location, this as he met many aspiring seminarians, and, boy, what a day it must be for them as well, but why now, why this location? >> well, first of all, it was a bit surprising because it wasn't in the prepared remarks. however, as anne said, we were expecting some kind of statement. i'm not surprised it was done here in front of seminarians and bishops and cardinals. keep in mind something interesting, all the young seminarians there were people that discerned their vocation during this long lent, during this long wintertime of the
clerical sex abuse scandal. they came of age when the priesthood was very much under a cloud, and so they're well aware of all the dynamics involved here, but when i was discerning the priesthood years ago it was held up as an ideal vocation. not for these young people. they were doing it very much under a cloud. so they understand what he's talking about. secondly, that he did it in front of the bishops i think is important. as anne was saying, that bishops, too, are very much responsible, and he'll hold them responsible. so i think it was an appropriate place for those two reasons for him to share these remarks. >> i want to play a little bit of that comment that was made here, and we'll list to be then and then i'll get your response. let's listen to what pope francis said earlier bis. >> i have in my heart these stories of suffering of those youth that were sexually abuse
ed, and it continues to be on my mind, the people who had the responsibility to take care of these tender ones violated that trust and caused them great pain. god weeps. for the sexual abuse of children, these cannot be maintained in secret, and i commit to a careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected and that all responsible will be held accountable.
>> bishop, will be held accountable. how do you see that happening? >> well, it's happened already in our country. think of bishop finn of kansas city who stepped down because of deep concerns in this area. it's archbishop in st. paul/minneapolis, the same thing. i think pope francis has proven to be true to his word here, that he's taking action against those who allowed the abuse to take place. that was a long-time concern of victim's groups that priests are being held responsible in many cases, even criminally so but the bishops were not, and i think that's consist went pope francis' rhetoric over the past couple years. >> i want to bring in the executive director of network and she joins us now. what is your reaction here, sister, to what the pope just said about sexual abuse survivors? >> well, i think it's totally in
keeping with the rest of his talk. what he spoke about really was that pastors need to see the faces of their people, need to know the struggles of their people, and not just proclaim edicts and be distant. that's one of the things that's been such a challenge in our church is that our bishops got into a more legalistic and teaching removed from the people framework and he's now saying that those who have been abused have broken his heart, that god cries, that we are in this together to weep together, not to protect the institution but to break open the fact that we're community together. that is a huge step forward in this context and that accountability is part of the price we pay for our previous hardness of heart. it's a big step. >> pope francis as he's about to leave st. martin's chapel there in the philadelphia, pennsylvania, area, getting a
rendition, a singing, a song for him as he departs. he will move on to a correctional facility in the next hour or so, and if again you're just joining us here on msnbc over the last hour, he addressed 150 seminarians, those who would aspire to become lifelong servants of god, and now leaving st. martin's chapel after addressing 300 bishops gathered from around the world for the world meeting of families. only the eighth -- the first in the united states. a meeting started by pope john paul ii in 1994, and so this as pope francis is about to leave. those are the book ends, if you will, for the seminarians for st. martin's chapel today on this sunday, september 27th, a day of worship, a day of rest.
i also want to bring in right now with us here in new york, we have liz l elev, nancy del rome and a senior fellow of opportunity agenda. start with this. this is a sunday. this is a day where praarishions around the country are going to their churches, going to their places of worship and they are listening to pastors, listening to priests just like pope francis. boy we saw him exercise that ability today as he was speaking. there are a lot of different points that we'll touch on here. but as we look at what he has said and so clearly and definitively at the top of his remarks -- i just warrant to get your thought on how he addressed again the sexual abuse survivors. >> he was very pastoral and
showing a lot of empathy, also a lot of courage and responsibility for what has happened. i think it's an important statement for priests, catholic priests, but for other pastors in other denominations as well because we are seeing a lot of sexual abuse. he pin points though that it is about taking responsibility for making changes. he hinthood hooed at structura to address it. >> structural changes. that is the question as we talked about earlier. what might be further concrete steps that kwob addcould be add this list. >> i think it is safe to say since the sexual abuse scandal broke in 2002 the church has been making continuous steps and in particular the bishops conference which had to address this in a very dramatic fashion and in the dallas charter promoted by the conference of bishops there are a series of guidelines not only for the dealing with cases that are
ongoing but most importantly in the seminaries. it is to create a structure so in the future a catholic church is the safest place for a child to be. you have seen this continuous work on the part of the american bishops. now the big role of francis -- you can see this universally in what he does -- is the role of reconciliation. what about those people who have been hurt. money and the lawsuits they may resolve but they are stuck at the pain and open wounds francis speaks about. he is here addressing the bishops to help address those wounds. you notice in the immediate footage afterwards one of the first people to speak to the pope after his address was cardinal sean o'malley who is in charge of the child protection agency, if you will, in the vatican who deals with firsthand these victims. you could see how pleased the cardinal was to hear the pope speak so strongly.
>> nancy, the verb "heal." right? that is what the people on this table would have said his message was put out like that today. as he does this, and you look at the seminarians who so well noted earlier, this is a very important part of their life. they are saying do i move forward or do i not. that's a tough question at that age. he met the youngest and oldest. i think it was 18 and 21 of the seminarians that were there but really saying we're going to fix this, we will deal with these issues because this is about people, not about orthodoxy. very interesting way the way he's approaching it but not surprising either. he has mentioned this issue at least five times by some counts this sexual abuse scandal. >> i think what's really important is he's paving the way for those new seminarians by having this very public message of just the tableau saying it is
very important we take accountability. the regular catholic in the pew has not seen that message visibly delivered to the bishops. that's going to pave the way for those young seminarians so they enter into parishes that have more confidence and they're not always sort of shadow boxing with that. >> live pictures as pope francis into what is really called marine one but not when the president is not inside of this helicopter. he will now head -- pope francis -- to a correctional facility where we expect him to get there within the next hour or so. 11:00 local time is when we do expect to see his next events begin. he was ahead of schedule this morning. 9:05 a.m. was when we had
expected him to arrive at st. martin's chapel. but he obviously got up early. he is an early riser and got moving very early. as we were noting earlier, he did meet with some of those survivors. i want to go back to sister simone campbell, sister, he's now making his way to the next event but he definitely has started off his sixth and final day here with a bit of a bang. >> i'll say. what a whirlwind. i was so struck by his challenge to our bishops to be men of prayer but also to have hearts for the people. his statement that -- it appeared to be off script about what he said in congress about the struggle of the families in our nation, those that struggle because they don't have enough to support their families, and yet those also at the top of our economic ladder who have too much to -- complacency in the
riches that they have, and challenged the wish slops rea y bishops to be advocates really for bringing us together as whole families with pastoral concern for everyone. i thought it was a huge wake-up call for the bishops to quit just preaching but engage with people in their real lives. that was a real step forward. i pray that they take it to heart and break out of the rigid construct they've had about families that focus on so few when pope francis is really calling them to care for all with the equal intensity and love, not in righteousness but in love. what a step forward. >> how appropriate here, sister, on this sunday when pastors are beginning to speak to their parishioners, that he would make that point, that underline to all of the bishops -- be pastoral, be like me, pope
francis. sister simone campbell, thank you so much. bishop robert baron, thank you so much as well. our panel here in new york will stay with us. we are just watching what is normally called marine one take off with pope francis inside of it. we will follow along with him. stay with us. right here on msnbc. discover card hey! so i'm looking at my bill and my fico credit score's on here. yeah! we give you your fico credit score. for free!
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osprey and also following what is normally the president's helicopter, marine one. he finished 20 minutes of commoner that to 300 bishops which we'll get to very shortly. he will meet at the correctional facility which we expect to happen in the next hour. he will meet with officers in that hour and we will be covering him as he makes his way on his sixth day here on the east coast after he addressed some sem nar yans also this morning. young hopefuls, if you will, that will become priests some day, catholic priests. the pope, however, did make some new remarks this morning addressing the sex abuse scandal that has plagued the catholic church. i want to show a little bit of that to you and then we'll move on. >> translator: god weeps.
for on the sexual abuse of children, these cannot be maintained in secret and i commit to a careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected. and that all responsible will be held accountable. >> so those comments were made 16 minutes ago. the pope had met father lombardi with five adults this morning at the seminary to "pray with them" and express his solidarity. i want to go to our claudio levanga for what the pope is doing today and we'll get to those comments as well as what father lombardi has just rele e released in a second. claudio, as we saw the two helicopters leave st. martin's chapel and make its way to the
correctional facility, this pope has a busy day before he leaves in about ten hours to return back to rome. what's on his schedule? >> reporter: well, he is going to visitle largest prison here in philadelphia. there's more than 2,000 inmates in there. they are accused and charged with several different crimes from minor to major, including, of course, murder, rape, assault. now he will meet about 100 of them. they've been selected according to their good behavior. we have been told of course we will hope that the good behavior continues while he is there inside that prison. but this is not the first time a pope visits a prison. he's actually made it a habit to do so, even during his trips abroad. now this is the first time a pope visits a prison in the u.s. but pope francis already visited a prison in bolivia when he went down there beginning of the year in south america. he went to the most violent prison in santa cruz in bolivia.
he also made it a habit and ritual to visit prisons in rome near the vatican as a matter of fact as a ritual on holy thursday right before easter. he goes tlp ahere and he washes feet of prisoners. this is a pope we know loves to go and speak to the marginalized, including the prisoners alongside with the poor. later on of course is a big event of the day. about 4:00 p.m. is the big mass here of the world meeting of families and it is the last event that is going to be held before the pope gets a send-off back to rome after a very, very long trip. of course a trip that started in cuba, then continued here in the u.s. >> pope francis is in the air right now. as you make those notes about pope francis and prisons, this will be the first time a pope has ever visited a u.s. prison and the inmates there know this. what we hear is that they've built a chair for him.
so all of that about to happen in the next couple of hours. pope francis again and his entourage in the air making their way to the correctional facility that claudio was talking about. thank you, laud yo lavanga. now to 28 stories below claudio on the ground of benjamin franklin parkway where we find our kasie hunt. you are at the scene of where that huge mass will take place today expecting a million -- you can put all the zeros you want after that "1." one cannot imagine what that will be like. >> reporter: richard, yes. this parkway has been filling up for hours now. this family got here around 5:00 in the morning, did you say? you're from nearby. what's it been like as this city has prepared for this? >> it's been fantastic. everything is well organized. there's plenty of opportunity to find a good space still. and our children came and
they're so happy to see the pope today. it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. >> the pope is really focused on reaching out to children. are you excited to see him? >> yeah, i'm really excited. >> are you on twitter? this pope seems to be into taking selfies. do you do that with your friends? >> sometimes but i don't have any of the social media. >> oh, yeah? sir, can i ask you, there's been a little bit of discussion. the eagles had been off to a little bit of a rough start here. you think the pope is going to help out? >> i think the pope is going to help our team out. he's going to inspire the guys to fight on and take down the new york jets this week and go on to win many games coming forward. >> one thing we've heard a lot from people as we've been talking to the crowd is the idea this pope is pretty inclusive in reaching out to communities that have felt marginalized. what es your take on how he's been speaking to marginalized communities since he's been here in the united states? >> he follows jesus. he is a jesuit obviously.
but he's a man who's serving a mission to take care of those that are low, those that don't have -- you know the saying, the last shall be first and the first shall be last. >> reporter: richard, we can hear the helicopters going overhead here on the benjamin franklin parkway. that's what's prompting all of this cheering behind me. i have to say the crowds here that have talked about how it is just an atmosphere of community, and excitement engendered by this pope. >> msnbc's kasie hunt. at least that attendee, hoping that perhaps the pope might bring a win for his nfl team. it is a sunday. >> as original a philadelphia area native myself, i can't say i would be opposed to such divine intervention, richard. >> well, you never know with pope francis. he may make a comment about it. thank you so much.
we'll touch base with you throughout the day. again that location where we expect there to be every 1 million people here who hear that mass. jonathan alter joins us now the a the table. now more information about the meeting the pope held this morning with victims of church sex abuse. the pope met with a group of five adults, three women and two men, who suffered abuse when they were minors. the group was accompanied by the archbishop of boston, cardinal sean patrick o'malley, the chair of the commission set up by the pope for the protection of minors and the archbishop of philadelphia according to a vatican spokesman, also, he prayed with the group, expressed his own solidarity and shared his own pain and shame about how the victims had suffered. jonathan alter, the other two that are on the panel, we still have the senior fellow at the opportunity agenda at the table.
we also have with us this hour in addition, nancy dalavali, associate professor of religious studies and fairfield university. jonath jonathan, i think what we were talking about during the break was this pope's amazing ability -- we saw it again in dealing with something that was so painful for everybody -- that he dealt with it with such calmness and in just short amounts of time in that 20-minute address to those 300 bishops. >> i think it was one of the more extraordinary moments of an extraordinary several days in the united states. mostly because of a message that has gotten lost in all of the attention to sexual abuse scandal and the other important events, and that has his discussion of the loneliness of consumerism. his critique extends from capitalism to consumerism, from
the structures of wealth in our society to the way we as individuals react to what he describes as a supermarket of options, where instead of family ties and spiritual interactions, we're all in the grip of consumerism in one way or another. i thought it was a very, very interesting sermon. >> his approach to it, jonathan, clearly knowing that the entire world is watching his commentary, was he focused because he is in the united states, a dynamic that he feels is -- and he's been critical of this culture of consumerism. was he talking to the united states or was he aiming it at the world? >> i think he was saying it is a problem all around the world. the example he used from argentina of telling a mother to stop ironing her son's shirts so that he would get married
suggests that he thinks this is a global problem of younger people not investing in family and in spiritual life but in buying and consuming things. and that they do so in an almost mindless fashion. i think he was trying to kind of shock us into recognition of the emptiness of a lot of modern life. >> jonathan alter, the rest of our panel, stand by. a quick little break here. we'll of course be watching pope francis as he arrives at the philadelphia prison just shortly. stay with us right here on msnbc with our special coverage of pope francis' visit, his final day here in the united states. hey babe, last one home cooks? ♪ ♪
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brisk pace on this sunday morning. his sixth day. you wouldn't even know that he has been working what feels like 26 hours in a day. he will be making his way here as you see here. this is the kcurran-fromhold correctional facility. he's in the air, he should be landing. we heard from the holy see press office this would begin at 10:45 a.m. but he was ahead of schedule by about ten minutes. here he will do something no other pope has ever done before and that is to visit a u.s. prison. he will be visiting with some 100 of the prisoners there, age 18 to 21 years old in this facility. again, the focus, a youth -- he'll be making his remarks in spanish at this location and of course we hope to have the
english translation for you here on msnbc. if you're just joining us again, we do expect there also to be a meeting with 30 corrections officers there, as well. if you look on the small stage there on the upper right hasn'r part ever your screen, that chair was built by the inmates. that's the chair pope francis will sit in as he is giving his remarks. that chair we'll see whether or not makes it back into that 777. that american airlines 777. there's a lot of space in it, to get back to rome where by the way in rome it is now well into the 4:00 hour local time. this on a sunday, september 27th, the day of worship, day of rest. all of this will be looking forward to in it the next hour or so. stay with us here on msnbc for that as we again wait for the pope to land very, very shortly. it will be this as we talk about
it, just a long string of visits to prisons around the world for pope francis who's been outspoken in his as video casad the death penalty. his visits to the prisons have been displayd displays of compa. the prisoners he'll meet during his stop at curran-fromhold were selected from a group who attend church services at that facility. he will also be meet being with family members of the inmates and as i mentioned earlier, corrections officers, too. i want to bring in from st. louis reverend vivian nixon with be executive director of college and community fellowship and co-founder of the education inside out coalition. so here we are, reverend nixon, about to make history again. pope francis as he goes for the
first time to a u.s. prison. how does the pope's message resonate with the current direction of policy here in the united states around mass incarceration and for that matter, the death penalty as well? >> well, i think the pope has done a marvelous job in communicating the message of redemption and hope, forgiveness and love. currently right now in the united states, we are experiencing a shift in the way we view criminal justice policy. we have come to the realization that we can no longer afford to incarcerate people at the rate we've been incars ratesing them. however, this policy shift needs to be grounded in a moral vision and not just an economic vision. so i think the pope's visit will help that. what i'm hoping is that some of the pope's message helps us to be more courageous in looking at the historical mirror that led
us to the place where we incarcerate so many people and where that level of incarceration has a disparate impact on poor people and communities of color. >> from your viewpoint, reverend nixon, what do you see the pope is about to do? will it change the narrative and direction on the policy you were just describing? the pope is meeting with both violent and non-violent offenders here. and that distinction between violent and non-violent offenders as it relates to the understanding of prison as punitive versus a place for rehabilitation or redemption. comment on that. >> well, it's wonderful that he's visiting with both violent and non-violent offenders. one of the slight disappointments i had when the president made this symbolic
gesture of visiting a prison is that they really chose a very narrow population of people to talk to. so i think the pope making a broader gesture, saying that everybody deserves forgiveness, everybody is -- has the capacity to change is a huge symbolic gesture. but we need to go beyond symbolism and really take a look at how we don't examine the data about violent offenders who actual lly have recidivism at greater rates. aeft nom cal prison sentences of 20, 30, 50 years, even some people getting sentenced to double life sentences which is ridiculous. you only have one life. that it does not decrease recidivism at all because people do age out of crime. >> again we are still waiting for pope francis to arrive here in philadelphia at a
correctional facility. very shortly. he was in the air not more than 10 or 15 minutes ago so we do expect him to arrive early ahead of schedule again today. what is the opportunity here for pope francis as he speaks to these 100 prisoners? >> first let me say i love this pope. because his message is so close to the gospel message and what luke tells us, the first sermon of jesus' min sistry said the spirit of the lord is upon me because i am to preach the good word and to the prisoners. we know the pope has focused on the poor which was jesus' main concern other than god. he talked about the more more than anything else. also going to this prison is also replicating what jesus talked about. jesus also said in matthew 25 that one of the ways you can go
to hell is to not visit the prisoners. why do we say that. most prisoners in those days were in jail for debt or forrer is received transgressions against the political state. we're talking about non-violent offenders. he's going there not only to give them some hope but also to highlight that there is a good deal of injustice in our justice system. also there's a racial element i think in undertone. because there is such a disproportionate representation of black and latino people of color in our incarceration system. one last thing, he's talking to the correction officers. i think that's important in this time when there is so much light shed on police terrorism against prisoners. so this coming here is really representing the heart of the gospel. he's talking about treating prisoners like human beings, like they are, talking about dignity. he's also bringing up the
important point of rehabilitation. not just punishment but rehabilitation for these are human beings and children of god. >> nancy, associate professor of religious studies at fairfield university, theologically where is he coming from in his message about prisons today? >> he's coming from the same place that he's coming from when he's talking about families, when he's talking about creation, when he's talking about social structures. he's basically teaching catholic social teaching. even in things that seem sort of pastoral, last night he waxed on beautifully about the family and he talked about taking care of both the beginning of life and the end of life, both the children and the grandmothers, but that was sort of a sweet story. he was talking about the family in history because he said the children are the future and the grandmothers are guardians of memory. and so he's always taking the big picture and talking about humanity thrown into a history
with all of its cruelty, all of its sorrows, and to that world he's offering a word of mercy. that's what he's doing when he goes to a prison. he wants to see prisoners also as part of that continuum, a continuum we all share. >> we are waiting for pope francis' second message of the day that's being broadcast and no doubt, what a special sunday sermon it is going to be there in philadelphia there at the correctional facility. we're waiting for him and we will bring the pope to you very shortly. stay with us, everybody, on the panel. as well as reverend nixon. we'll be right back with more coverage of the pope in the united states. [ scanner beeping ]
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there you see it, crowds gathering for pope francis in philadelphia. he's not going to arrive there for another five or six hours. he'll be celebrating an outdoor mass at benjamin franklin parkway. expect about a million people at that mass. it is expected to go from 4:00 p.m. to 6:15. about 500,000 people will receive communion. a half a million people getting communion. it's tough enough just on sundays with 200 or 300. i can't wait to see that as i'm sure a lot of the other catholics cannot wlat ait to se. today's mass will be the largest of pope francis's trip to the u.s. let's go now to nbc's stephanie gosk on the ground in philadelphia where that is about to happen in a bunch of hours. that is one of the questions, stephanie, as you know and have been reporting on, the question
of stuart. >> reporter: yeah. it's been the big issue here. i think most of the people who have come in to town to see the pope have told us that they have no problem with it, that they understand why it's here. there are some locals here who are pushed out of this city and we've got some excitement here. hang on just a second. bye, guys. welcome. welcome. where are you from? >> canada! >> where in canada? >> toronto. you can see groups are coming in here, they're very excited. no one who's made it to this point, richard, has been through the security checkpoints. what we're hearing is that those lines are growing and it is going to take a while for people to go through the magnetometers. what we saw yesterday is that everything is going to be checked. every bag, every parcel, everything that goes in is going to be checked. there are a number of items that are banned.
you can't bring selfie sticks in. you can't bring coolers in. a number of things that are fairly obvious. closed packages aren't alone. drones are not allowed. and anyone who's brought those things in will have them confiscated. but what we have -- i was saying this earlier -- what we've heard from people is that it doesn't necessarily bother them. the locals in philadelphia were a little bit put out because their entire center of town has essentially been in lockdown since wednesday which makes life difficult. >> stephanie, as you've been following the pope on his visit here, now the sixth day here in the united states, we have to go back as you know 36 years since pope john paul was there in philadelphia. you just had that very energetic crowd of canadians coming on by as you were reporting. how is this crowd different, if at all, there in philadelphia, where are they from and what are they saying?
>> because this is the festival of families and it's been going on all week, that's an event held every three years that draws crowds from all over the world. unlike a crowd, say, in new york city that might have been local and coming in from the surrounding area, a lot of these people have just stayed through the world gathering of families and stayed here for the pope. so you have groups from latin america -- >> stephanie, we have to move to the curran-fromhold correctional facility. pope arriving early. thank you so much stephanie gosk there at the million mass that will be happening later today. pope francis now arriving at the curran-fromhold correctional facility. ahead of schedule by about 15, 20 minutes. you can expect him to make comments in spanish. let's listen. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to all of you who have come to the curran from hold correctional facility to witness this visit by pope francis.
the holy father of the roman catholic church. i'm the commissioner of prisons. your holiness, pope francis, we are joined this morning by our mayor, michael nutter. many of our state legislators. members of city council. other justice officials, and our prison staff. more importantly, assembled before you are the men and women in our custody you have sought to meet. they have come together in a spirit of hope to receive your message. we who stand in authority understand that love and respect, as well as the spirit of hope and forgiveness must fill both the keepers and the confined. otherwise peace and justice cannot be achieved. all of us have eagerly anticipated this day and i know i speak for everyone saying that this extraordinary event will be etched in our hearts and our minds forever. as a token of our appreciation, the chair in which you sit was made for you by the inmates and
instructors of our industry's program. [ applause ] >> we believe it represents the talent and beauty that lies within all of us. please accept it on behalf of the inmates in our custody. your journey has been long and the demands upon you great. but you still have taken the time to be with us. thank you and god bless you. at this time i would like to ask the archbishop of philadelphia to come to the podium and introduce the holy father. please welcome archbishop charles chippe. >> thank you, commissioner. ladies and gentlemen, i'll be brief because the holy father is eager to speak with you. the christian faith began among the hungry and the poor and st. peter, the first pope, knew the inside of roman prisons from
personal experience. so it is fitting that his successor is here with you today. the kind of chair you made for the holy father has a special history in the catholic church. in latin the word for chair is k cathedra. it was a seat of authority for the empire. after the empire collapsed, the catholic community adopted the term to represent the bishop's authority to lead the local church. the pope is the pastor of the catholic church worldwide. but he is also very specifically the bishop of the diocese of rome. and his cathedral which also comes from the word cateh dchhe. when the spoke speaks from "the chair," it means he teaches with
the full authority of his office stretching back 2,000 years to the apostles. that's the nature of the gift you gave to our holy father. so it's now my privilege to introduce to you someone who loves you, the 266th man to follow st. peter as a bishop of rome. pope francis. >> translator: dear brothers and sisters, good morning.
i will speak in spanish because i can't speak english. but his english is excellent. >> i'll be speaking in english and translating. >> translator: thank you f welcoming me and giving me the chance to be here with you to share this moment in your lives. it is a difficult moment, a time fraught with challenges. i know this moment is painful for you, but i also know that it is painful for your families and for all society. because if a society or a family cannot feel the pain of the serb
if the pain becomes normal or expected and you do not take it seriously, then that society imprisons itselfif the pain becomes normal or expected and you do not take it seriously, then that society imprisons itself it is condemned to imprison itself and to fall prey to its own suffering. i stand among you a pastor, a shepherd, above all, as your brother, to share in your plight and make it my own. i am here that we may join in prayer and bring before our god everything that causes us pain. but to also bring everything that gives us hope so that we may receive from him of the resurrection. >> translator: dear brothers and sisters. thank you for receiving me and giving me the opportunity to be
here with you and to share this time in your lives. it is a difficult time, one full of struggles. i know it is a painful time not only for you, but also for your families and for all of society. any society, any family, which cannot share or take seriously the pain of its children and views that pain as something normal or to be expected is a society condemned to remain a hostage to itself. pray to the very things that cause that pain. i am here as a pastor, but above all, as a brother, to share your situation and to make it my own. i have come so that we can pray together and offer our god everything that causes us pain, but also everything that gives us hope so that we can receive from him the power of the resurrection.
[ speaking spanish ] >> translator: i am reminded of the gospel when jesus washes the feet of his disciples at the last supper. and the disciples were puzzled by this. even refused. and he said, you shall never watch my feet. >> translator: i think of the gospel scene where jesus washes the feet of his disciples the a the last supper. this was something his disciples found hard to accept. even peter refused and told him, you will never wash my feet. [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: back then, when you went to visit someone, the host would wash your feet. people were traditionally welcomed this way because the roads were not paved.
they were covered in dust with pebbles that would get stuck in your sandals. and embarking on these roads, everyone's feet were caked in dust, bruised or cut from the stones. so there was jesus, washing feet. our feet. his disciples' feet. >> interpreter: in those days it was the custom to wash someone's feet when they came to your home. that was how they welcomed people. the roads were not paved. they were covered with dust and little stones would get stuck in your sandals. everyone walked those roads which left their feet dusty, bruised or cut from those stones. that is why we see jesus washing feet. our feet. the feet of his disciples, then
and now. [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: we all know that to live, we have to walk along different roads and paths and that they all leave a mark on us. >> translator: life is a journey along different roads, different paths, which leave their mark on us. [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: and we know in faith that jesus seeks us out. we know that he wants to dress our wounds and soothe our feet which are sore from it the long journey under the burden of loneliness. we know he wants to wash us clean from the dust that we've gathered along the way. >> translator: jesus does not ask us where we've been, and he
doesn't ask us what we've done. instead, he says unto us, unless i wash your feet, you have no share with me. unless i wash your feet, i will not be able to give you the life the father dreamed for you, the life you with created for. jesus' comes to us to prepare our feet to walk in dignity as children of god once again. he wants to help us get our stride again to get back on those roads, to find our hope, to restore our faith and our trust. he wants us back on those roads, back to life. he wants us to realize that we have a mission, and that being
confined during this time is not the same, will never be the same, as being cast out. >> translator: we know in faith that jesus seeks us out. he wants to heal our wounds, to soothe our feet which hurt from traveling alone, to wash each of us clean of the dust from our journey. he doesn't ask us where we have been. he doesn't question us what about we've done -- about what we've done. rather, he tells us, unless i wash your feet, you have no share with me. unless i wash your feet, i will not be able to give you the life which the father always dreamed of, the life for which he created you. jesus comes to us so that he can restore our dignity as children of god. he wants to help us to set out again, to resume our journey, to recover our hope, to restore our
faith and trust. he wants us to keep walking along the paths of life to realize that we have a mission and that confinement is not the same thing as exclusion. [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: life means getting our feet dirty. in the dust-filled roads of life and of history. all of us need to be cleansed, to be washed. all of us. and i, the first among. all of us aring souge i are bei by the teacher who wants to help us resume our journey. the lord goes searching for us all to give us his hand.
his faithful when you see prison systems which are not krn conce to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities. it is painful when we see people who think that only some others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their re weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society as a whole. the lord tells us this clearly with a sign. he washes our feet so we can come back to the table, the table from which he wishes no one to be excluded. the table which has been prepared for all of us and to wish all of us our invite.
>> translator: life means getting our feet dirty. from the dust-filled roads of life and history, all of us need to be cleansed, to be washed. all of us. and me in first place. all of us are being sought out by the teacher who wants to help us resume our journey. the lord goes in search of us, to all of us he stretches out a helping hand. it is painful when we see prison systems which are not concerned to care for wounds, to soothe pain, to offer new possibilities. it is painful when we see people who think that only others need to be cleansed, purified, and do not recognize that their wea weariness, pain and wounds are also the weariness, pain and wounds of society. the lord tells us this clearly with a sign. he washes our feet so that we come back to the table.
the table from which he wishes no one to be excluded. the table which is spread for all and to which all of us are invited. [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: this time in your life can have but one purpose. to give you a helping hand to get back on the right path, to give you a hand to help you rejoin society. all of us are part of that effort. all of us are invited to encourage, help and enable your rehabilitation, a rehabilitation which everyone seeks and desires. inmates and their families, correctional authorities, social and educational programs.
a rehabilitation which benefits and elevates the morale of the entire community and of society as a whole. >> translator: this time in your life can only have one purpose -- to give you a hand in getting back on the right road, to give you a hand to help you rejoin society. all of us are part of that effort. all of us are invited to encourage, help, and enable your rehabilitation. a rehabilitation which everyone seeks and desires. inmates and their families, correctional authorities, social and educational programs, a rehabilitation which benefits and elevates the morale of the entire community and society. >> translator: i could like to encourage you to have this
attitude among you and with all other people who are part of this institution forge opportunities for one another, forge paths, forge new roadways. >> translator: i encourage you to have this attitude with one another and with all those who in any way are part of this institution. may you make possible new opportunities, new journeys, new paths. [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: all of us have something we need to be cleansed of or purified from. all of us. may the knowledge of that fact inspire us to live in solidarity, to support one another and to speak the best of one another. >> translator: all of us have something we need to be cleansed of or purified from. all of us. may the knowledge of that fact inspire us to live in solidarity to support one another and seek
the best for others. [ speaking spanish ] >> translator: let us look to jesus who washes our feet. he is the way, the truth and the light. he comes to save us from the lie that says that no one can change. the lie that says that no one can change. he helps us to journey along the paths of life and fulfillment. may the power of his love and his resurrection always be a path leading you to a new life. >> translator: let us look to jesus who washes our feet. he is the way and the truth and the life. he comes to save us from the lie that says no one can change. from the lie that says no one can change. [ speaking spanish ]
>> and so pope francis after n benediction and his remarks for about 20 minutes is there at the curran-fromhold correctional facility in philadelphia, pennsylvania, finishing meeting a group of what is 100 prisoners there. both violent and non-violent offenders. what we understand, 18 to 21 years old. pope francis spending. of his commentary there about how getting your feet dirty is living life.
and this pope so well known for washing feet of inmates and he has visited so many prisons around the world. first pope though to visit a u.s. prison. still with us from st. louis is reverend vivian nixon. we also have here in new york our panel. mark, to you on this. we don't have soo mutoo much tie but what's your thought on the pope's comments and his focus really was about being like and living like jesus. he was really hitting the point of washing feet. >> well, he talks about confinement is not the same as exclusion and i think that's very profound statement in current day america because too often our prisons are out of sight, out of mind in the minds of both the public and policymakers. he talks about how rehabilitation is something we
all need to be engaged with and help the morale of the community. and for far too long it's been a question of political sound bites. collars and cents and the like. the compassion, the human element on all sides of the crime issue. that is really critical. i think that comes through very strongly, very profoundly. >> reverend nixon, what was your thought as the pope was giving his remarks and one of the points that stood out to me very clearly was how he was addressing the difference between confinement and inclusion. >> well, my immediate thought was -- amen. it was very impressive the way the pope weaved in the responsibility that we all have to understand that none of us is perfect. the bible says that all have sinned and come short of the glory of god. but then he also in describing
the washing of the feet and explaining that living life gets us all dirty and we're all -- we all need to care for one another, he emphasized not only the pastoral jesus, but the political jesus, because as he explained, peter not wanting to have his feet washed, jesus says, no, things are upside down. the greatest shall be the least and the least shall be the greatest. so confinement is different from exclusion, from saying "us" and "them." we are all in this together, we all need redemption and forgiveness. amen. >> we're going to take a short break right now. stay with us, nancy, liz, obery, as we stay with pope francis as he has a busy morning here in philadelphia, pennsylvania. we continue to cover the pope's
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good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. welcome back to our special coverage of pope francis in america. at this hour, the pope has been meeting with prisoners at a correctional facility in philadelphia. we are looking at him as we bring you live pictures following his address to some 150 or so inmates there inside of the curran-fromhold correctional facility in philadelphia. he's making his way to others that have been brought in, those who work within the facility and family members that were brought in for this very, very special occasion. of course, this pope has made much of wanting to have inclusion from all facets of society, much of his papacy has been addressing that issue. he will be leaving here